an·​i·​mos·​i·​ty | \ ˌa-nə-ˈmä-sə-tē How to pronounce animosity (audio) \
plural animosities

Definition of animosity

: a strong feeling of dislike or hatred : ill will or resentment tending toward active hostility : an antagonistic attitude

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Choose the Right Synonym for animosity

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed. an unspoken enmity hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression. hostility between the two nations antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility. a natural antipathy for self-seekers antagonism between the brothers animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility. animosity that led to revenge rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong. rancor filled every line of his letters animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice. objections devoid of personal animus

Where does the word animosity come from?

The important Latin word animus (very closely related to anima) could mean a great many things having to do with the soul and the emotions, one of them being "anger". As an English word, animus has generally meant "ill will", so it isn't mysterious that animosity means basically the same thing. Animosity can exist between two people, two groups or organizations, or two countries, and can sometimes lie hidden for years before reappearing. The deep animosities that exist between certain ethnic and religious groups sometimes seem as if they will last forever.

Examples of animosity in a Sentence

Few rivalries can match that of the Cards and Cubs in terms of history, color and animosity. Things are tense in an off year, but in 2003 the teams are at the top of the National League Central division (along with the Houston Astros), separated by a half-game. — John Grisham, New York Times Book Review, 1 May 2005 As I get older, I have noticed the troubles many of my friends have with their fathers: the animosities and disappointments, held so long in the arrears of late adolescence, suddenly coming up due on both ends. But my father and I, if anything, have gotten closer, even as I understand him less and less. — Tom Bissell, Harper's, December 2004 What I did not anticipate, however, was the depth of animosity that had been simmering among the teachers beneath the pleasantries that characterized our public, formal encounters. I discovered that my enthusiastic advocacy for whole language was received by traditional teachers as demeaning, insulting attacks. — Elaine Garan, Language Arts, September 1998 We put aside our personal animosities so that we could work together. his open animosity towards us made our meeting very uncomfortable
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Recent Examples on the Web

So there’s no animosity in the air, everything’s like, good. Jen Juneau,, "Cool Cousins! Rob Kardashian's 'Little Lady' Dream Poses with Khloé Kardashian's Daughter True," 8 Aug. 2019 The case pushed the rawness of racial animosity into the public conversation, which was nothing new in New York, but the jogger attack horrified the city. James Barron, New York Times, "How Trump and Sharpton Became the Ultimate New York Frenemies," 29 July 2019 But in a Democratic primary that has, to date, been friendly, Griswold’s entry would be a source of animosity for some. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Jena Griswold’s possible Senate run draws criticism from women already in the race," 25 July 2019 As the 2016 campaign season picked up steam, her name became inseparable from the Duterte lobby, drawing animosity and acclaim in near-equal measure from Filipinos at home and abroad. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "In the Philippines, divided politics feed – and feed on – a divided web," 9 Apr. 2018 So far, none of the public remarks by members of Congress, Democrat or Republican, have expressed any outright animosity toward Jews, as white supremacists have, or to the existence of the state of Israel. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "With antisemitism on the rise, criticism of Israel fuels political charges of hate," 11 July 2019 Beyond sheer self-interest, both factions share a deep animosity toward the Western world and its values. Fox News, "Turkey prepares to receive Russian missile system, as questions swirl over potential US punishment," 10 July 2019 Less affluent nations could store up animosity toward those that stake claims, stoking tensions much like in the situation now in the South China Sea, Crawford says. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "The New Scramble for the Moon," 26 June 2019 At the time, the move was seen as a gamble: Would the former Super Bowl QB, who sparked deep animosity and controversy by kneeling during the National Anthem, hurt the reputation of the most recognizable athletic brand in the world? Aj Willingham, CNN, "Colin Kaepernick's Nike commercial is nominated for an Emmy," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'animosity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of animosity

1568, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for animosity

Middle English animosite, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French animosité, from Late Latin animositat-, animositas, from Latin animosus spirited, from animus — see animus

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Statistics for animosity

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for animosity

The first known use of animosity was in 1568

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More Definitions for animosity


an·​i·​mos·​i·​ty | \ ˌa-nə-ˈmä-sə-tē How to pronounce animosity (audio) \
plural animosities

Kids Definition of animosity

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Comments on animosity

What made you want to look up animosity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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